Hey all! How do you do? Thanks for wanting to read my ramblings. I’m back and settling back into the daily grind, following my big book tour promoting my second book, Shadow Magick Compendium (which, I might add, is *not* at all Goth-focused and is notably deeper, more spiritually directed and diverse than my first book—things that some readers have reported liking about it). After the tour, I was immediately pushed back into my routine! I had to host a ritual right away (fun), had to work for a few days right away (I do graveyard shifts at a wonderful group home), and have my final book release signing in Missoula at one of our industrial parties. Lots of work, but it’s all good work!
“The earth turned grey, the sea turned black, the rivers turned red, the sun turned cold, the beast turned pale, the stars turned fast, the air turned to poison… [and when the Lamb opened the Seventh Seal, silence covered the sky]…” …in the background is playing the ENIGMA: MCMXC AD complete-album music video DVD that was sold alongside the disk—I rented it through Netflix (which I am becoming obsessed with because of the rare DVDs available to rent thru there), though I’ll continue to support local video stores as much as possible.
It’s late, very late, and my mind is prone to tangents and ephemeral asides. But I’m sure you don’t mind =) [Reality is all about dancing with the vibrations and circumstances one finds oneself with/in any given present-moment] Also, if I haven’t gotten to your email/comment/friend request, please don’t take it personally—time just hasn’t been something I’ve had a lot of lately!
My first stop was Denver. The New Age show was… interesting… there were some great aspects about it, such as some of the people I got to meet. At the same time, it astounds me how many delusional people, charlatans and con artists are involved in the New Age movement. Luckily, I have enough discernment to tell who is in it for the cash and who is truly in it to help, heal and guide people. I both feel sorry for the desperate people deceived by the swindlers (don’t even get me started on the ascended-master-communicators, clair-everythings, escapist white-light-healers and Scientologists), and celebrate those who accomplished actual healing work at the event. Anyway, my main signing was at the Witches’ Brew Café. I met some TRES cool folks there (spiritual kin!), went to some clubs, and had an absolutely great time. It was also during the time of the DNC (Democratic National Convention) in Denver, and watching Obama (from the hotel room; not live) indeed instilled me with some new hope for this severely misguided country. I will certainly vote for him, even though (very sadly) it’s the 200-some representatives in the *Electoral College* that decide who is president, NOT us citizens. Makes one wonder what’s going on behind the scenes. I wish every vote was equal in this country.
Spokane (WA) was… well, not so great. Aside from having the deepest conversation I’ve had about Empathy with Chad, the storeowner of Raven’s Flight (attached to Rising Phoenix), my Spocompton experience was quite unfulfilling… i.e. the hotel decide to not tell me that there was massively loud renovation construction occurring directly outside of my room at 8 in the morning (and I hadn’t slept well for 3 weeks prior—aah!), I showed up to the signing late (things came up at home, making me slightly late) and everyone who came to the signing that day showed up before *I* arrived, my relatives in the area didn’t let me stay with them (because of lifestyle conflicts, methinks), and the date of the Jucifer show was wrong on their Myspace page (I went to the bar and they weren’t playing!). I’m glad it only lasted a day.
HIGHLIGHTS: Conversation about Empathy, drinking a lot, walking around the hotel room nekkid.
Seattle was the next stop. It was loads of fun. However, I absolutely loathe driving in that city—panic attacks nearly ensued a number of times! Regardless, I managed, and got to catch up with *many* old friends from Missoula and elsewhere, as well as meet others on the way. The clubs were nice, the coffee amazing, the signing/readings went perfectly (Edge of the Circle books is one of the most complete and intelligent occult stores I’ve visited), and the time spent with my comrades was memorable. I even got to play with an enormous purple dead jellyfish on the beach! All in all, it was awesome.
HIGHLIGHTS: catching up with beloved friends, the deathrock go-go dancer at the gay club, the jellyfish, eating seaweed fresh out of the ocean, Treair’s snuggly pit bulls.
I stayed with friends near Tacoma, and we likewise had a blast together. The book signings and clubbing (are you noticing a pattern here?) were great, and we even did some drumming and mantras for the full moon. The Central Puget Sound Pagan Pride was fun; it was so nice to meet the Pagan community in the area!
HIGHLIGHTS: Seeing Crescent Moon Gifts (and getting an intricate Hermes statue—my God indeed), meeting author Paul Hudson artist Amy Brown, Angela & Dan’s sweet doggie, red wine.
Eugene (OR) was a very lonely experience, aside from meeting a couple of cool folks at the signing. From what I got to experience and see during the one day I was there, I didn’t find it to be anything too special. See, I have always heard that Eugene is “Missoula’s sister city.” I had to see for myself (anything like Missoula—particularly if it’s a bit bigger than Missoula [there are about 100,000 people here] is grand in my eyes). Though it had a good amount of alternative people, ethnic/cultural/subcultural diversity, and relatively friendly folk, I didn’t get the impression that it was very much like my hometown. I’m glad I got to experience it for myself, though. Oregon and Washington (and Western Montana) are generally very, very lush, green and breathtakingly beautiful.
HIGHLIGHTS: Driving around in the afternoon to check out the city, talking to the trees.
My final stop, which (like Seattle) lasted for about 4-5 days, was Portland. Before experiencing the city this time around, I wasn’t quite sure what to think of the area. Until this time around, I didn’t really get the full PDX-experience. Luckily, I did this time, and I admittedly have a newfound love for Portland. What a great place. The city is incredibly easy to publicly transport, drive and generally navigate in (it was cleverly designed from the start), it’s *extremely* liberal and progressive, very *green* (in many, many ways), GLBTI-friendly, VERY alternative (I never see as many alternative people in one city as I do in PDX), and extremely diverse. If I were to move to a bigger place, I would have to say that it would be Portland. It’s basically like one giant Missoula. Anyway, the book signing was good, it was great to see old friends, the queer clubs, drum n bass/house/trance/electronic clubs and industrial clubs were an absolute blast, and the food was *amazing.* PDX is very art- and food-centered, and there are vegetarian, vegan and even raw food restaurants everywhere you look. I stayed with my buddies Taylor Ellwood & Lupa (who are also fantastic people and brilliant writers—I *very* highly suggest checking out their books), which was much-needed… we even went to a giant BDSM/fetish club party on my last day there. Very memorable.
HIGHLIGHTS: The Vegetarian House restaurant (a Chinese place with tons of mock meat; run by an international cult), spending time with Taylor & Lupa (and their precious kitties), vegan chicken fried steak, high-class cocktails, sushi, seeing old friends and making new ones, more food, drinking a lot, the fetish party, and eating more veg food.
To wrap things up, the Dark Dreams (Goth/industrial/fetish) party here in Missoula just happened, where I signed copies of both books. We got about 230 people this time (the event is usually bi-monthly), which is more people than ANY of the clubnights I went to in travel. There may have been about that many in Denver, but that’s about it. Pretty impressive. It was an amazing time!
So now I’m here! I’ll be catching up on stuff for a while and keeping busy for a bit—time will be on my side sooner than later. I must also express my gratitude to my readers and friends who have expressed praise and respect for the work I’m doing. It makes it all worth it to know that I’m helping people in their lives (and am gaining friends in the process).